By Matthew E. Milliken
March 31, 2017
Last June, journalist Robert Kuttner examined the different ways in which a then-hypothetical President Trump might abuse his power.
We are now 70 days into the Trump administration, a span in which the administration has been mired amid scandal, incompetence and apparent if not actual corruption, not to mention historically low approval ratings. Yes, it’s early, but we can get a good sense of the ways in which Kuttner — who looked into the ways in which President Nixon politicized the Internal Revenue Service — was right and wrong in his prognostications about the figure I’ve taken to calling President Short Attention Span.
• Trump will insist on loyalty. Kuttner was spot-on about this. In his eagerness to blame the failure of his ill-advised health-care reform initiative on everyone not named Donald Trump, the president blamed Democrats and Republicans alike. The commander-in-chief seemed particularly eager to call out Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, notwithstanding Ryan’s relative obeisance to Trump, as well as members of the House Freedom Caucus who objected that the American Health Care Act wasn’t cruel enough.